Friday, April 4, 2014

Time to Update Your Emergency Preparedness Kits!

Conference Weekend brings a semi-annual chore to our house. It is the weekend that I update all of our emergency preparedness kits. We have three. One for each car and one for the house. They each have a different purpose. 

The two in the cars, are for any emergency we might have when in that specific car. Over the years, I have had a few car emergencies: car accidents, flat tires, and a dead battery just to name a few. Every single time, I was alone. Most of the time I was not close to home where I could call my husband or a friend to help! (Molly was with me when I had the flat tire - in another state - on a deserted road.) This is what the emergency car care kit is for! You can see what I put in my car care kits here.

The third one is my 72 hour kit. It is designed to be pulled out in an instant if we ever had to leave our house in a hurry. This would include things like a mandatory evacuation. I have never had to use it, but I am very glad I have it! You can see what I put in my 72 hour kit here.

These kits sit in the car or a closet until the day you need them. I don't think about them very often, I just know that they are there if I need them! Really, there are only two times a year I think about them - on conference weekends in April and October. This is the time I have set aside to update my kits. It is a quick and easy chore and doesn't take a lot of effort or time.

The first thing to do is open the kit and check everything that is in it. Here is a list of some things to check for:
  • Are the bottles of water in good condition? Do any show signs of a possible leak? Are the bottles out of date?
  • If you store medicines in your kit, are they still fresh? Will they remain that way until you check the kit again?
  • Are the clothes in your kit appropriate for the upcoming weather?
  • Is anything in the First Aid kit out of date?
  • Do the flashlight batteries need to be replaced?
  • Do the pens in the kit still write? 
  • Is the package of wet wipes still fresh?
  • Is there anything else in the kit that should be replace?
Next, check the food in each kit. The staple food for our car care kits is granola bars. The 72 hour kits have real food like breakfast cereal, shelf stable milk and freezed dried meals. (Meals similar to the kind you can find in the camping section of most stores.) Check all of them and replace what is needed. Make sure the 'Best by' date is beyond the date of your next check. For me, everything I put in the kits this weekend must have a 'Best by' date of November or December 2014. That way when I replace them in October, we have a month or two left to eat the food.

Really, any bi-annual event will work for remembering to update your kits. Daylight savings time, holidays or birthdays, spring/fall equinox. Use whatever is easy for you to remember! 

That way, your kit will be ready when you need it too!

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